As a new cat owner or cat parent, you will probably feel the joy when welcoming a new creature to your home. But the first time raising a pet might be challenging as cats can behave somewhat weirdly. According to Stephanie Borns-Weil, a vet at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, adopting a cat means you will have to live with a wild animal. Thus, you should know the tips to best care for your cute cat!
Top 5 tips for the new cat owners. Image: Shutterstock
SELECT THE RIGHT FOOD
Selecting the right food is crucial because it has a direct impact on your cat’s overall health. If you know the food brand your cat used to eat before your adoption, you can give it a small portion of that food to keep it on a consistent diet. Then, you can move to the new food gradually to save your cat from stomach upset.
New cat owners should provide their kittens (cats under one year old) with a specific formula. They are in the growth stage, so they need a higher-calorie diet. And for healthy adult cats, most kinds of cat food out there are all acceptable. But remember that the food you choose should be reviewed and meet specific standards of the FDA.
Select the right food. Image: Shutterstock
In fact, as cats of different sizes and breeds have different food needs and preferences, you should consult your vet. They will guide you on how much and how often to feed your feline. Besides, based on your cat weight, you can look at the food bag labels to know suitable feeding recommendations.
GET A GOOD CAT LITTER BOX
There is a wide range of cat litter boxes for cat parents to select. Typically, an enclosed litter box is the most popular one that provides your cat with more privacy. The clumping litter makes it easy to deal with cat’s urine and feces.
When you fill a cat litter box, a 2-3” deep litter layer can yield optimal outcomes. It’s worth bearing in mind that too much litter may end up over the box sides when your cat covers its waste. Too little litter does not absorb the urine completely, resulting in awful odors, and possibly your cat does not want to use that litter box again.
Get a good cat litter box. Image: Womansworld
How often do new cat owners need to clean the litter boxes? At least once a day is enough to ensure they look clean and odorless. In case you raise more than one cat or kitten, you should have a litter box for each cat. This ensures that your cat is not prevented from using the box when needed or being forced to use the dirty one.
BRUSH & BATHE YOUR CAT
As cats can do self-grooming quite well, new cat owners need not bathe them the way they do with dogs. Regular brushing helps with shedding and tangles and the brushing frequency depends on your cat breed and your tolerance of cat hair. Usually, cats only need brushing at least three times each week, but you can brush them daily.
Also, you should pay attention to your cat nails. By nature, cats often scratch to keep their nails in good condition, which can be a nuisance when they do that with your couch or curtains. Keeping cat nails trimmed regularly saves your furniture and yourself from scratches. According to the American Humane Society, cat nail trimming should be performed twice a month.
Brush & bathe your feline. Image: My Pets
Regarding bathing, as cats can keep themselves clean, one or two baths per year are adequate. When you bathe your cat, use a gentle cat shampoo (avoid shampoos with flea treatments) and prevent soap or water from entering their ears or eyes. After the bathing process, dry your cat with a towel and put it someplace warm till it’s entirely dry before giving it a good brushing.
PLAY WITH YOUR CAT
Setting playtime with your furry friends is fun and strengthens the cat-human bond. Besides, interactive playing provides valuable exercise for cats, helping them maintain a healthy body.
For playful kittens, they may find anything interesting. Therefore, keep sharp objects and small stuff that they might choke on away. The most suitable toys are often soft objects, such as cotton chew toys, so that they can sink their teeth without hurting themselves.
Play with your cat. Image: ijemr.net
In addition to the previously mentioned cat toys, there are many other good ones, such as catnip mice, wand toys, and crinkly catnip stuff. If you are a DIY lover, you can make cat toys by yourself, using simple materials like wads of paper, milk or juice containers, or straws. Remember to give your cat the freedom to set the pace and avoid forcing it to play. However, you can try diverse approaches to figure out what piques its interest.
LOOK FOR A COMPETENT VET
To care for your felines well, you should seek advice from an expert vet. If you have known no vet, you can ask your friends or colleagues for reference. It’s convenient to look for someone in your local area that is easy to reach in emergencies.
Moreover, because cats seem to be good at hiding signs of illness, new cat owners need to keep very close eyes on any changes in their cats’ eating, drinking, activity level, or litter box habits. A vet with good credentials and knowledge can advise you on your cat’s regular check-ups and vaccinations.
Look for a competent vet. Image: Awareness Days
That’s a wrap, above are the top 5 tips that Nobel Pawtrait believes will come of great help for new cat owners. Follow those tips, and you will create the best environment for your felines and establish a close relationship with them.
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